The new national narrative

Let it be about progress and development

Siraj Quraishi
Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 12 2018 11:11PM | Updated Date: Nov 12 2018 11:11PM
The new national narrativeRepresentational Pic

India is on the threshold of heralding a new era of all-round growth via BJP’s 2019 electoral success almost on its platter. The BJP leadership’s tall claim to get close to the club of world powers during the next five years may not be a mere wishful thinking. 2014-19 has witnessed a saga of giant strides for laying a firm bedrock for sustained development and progress within and globally. Looking back down the memory lane post 2014 elections to date throws up quite a few milestones of socio, economic, political and diplomatic achievements by India. Just to mention only a few flagship schemes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana, Skill India, Make-in-India, MUDRA Yogana, Ayushman Bharat, Khelo India, Digital India, Startup India so on and so forth have huge inherent potential for epoch making growth of the country. 

A wide spread expansion in road connectivity, a network of national highway corridors, high speed railway connectivity, rural gas connectivity, cent percent rural electrification and many more such accomplishments will go a long way in pushing up resurgent India to become much more vibrant. Bonding country’s entire populace through Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has proved to be a real unique bonding besides facilitating quick and hassle free functioning of numerous public services organisations and delivery system. Although, the entire country was shellshocked by sudden announcement of demonetization, yet, it has proved to be a credible pragmatic big step in curbing black money. Knowing that black money has always been a dominant feature of our parallel economy, its outright eradication may be almost next to impossible. GST too has gone a long way in simplifying our erstwhile complicated tax management. “One Nation One Tax” system has brought a tangible relief to business community.

 

Globally, India’s standing has gone up several notches in numerous spheres. Many big diplomatic initiatives have been taken to establish new and strengthen old linkages in all the continents.  A number of greener pastures have been explored in the arena of trade and commerce to enhance the business and investment opportunities world over. On the strength of these and many other international accomplishments, India is justifiably vying for permanent seat in UNSC. A much closer proximity is being witnessed now between India, Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, US, Australia and Europe. Prime Minister Modi was bestowed with the UNO’s highest environmental award “Champions of the Earth award 2018” along with the French President. In defence sector too, country’s might has been considerably enhanced by a slew of new indigenously manufactured nuclear arsenal and combat deterrent military hardware. The latest addition of INS Submarine “Arihant” fully equipped with Long Range Nuclear and Ballistic Missile raises India’s stature tremendously among the nuclear super power league. The far-flung areas of North East which were hitherto almost unknown and untouched to mainstream politics and progress are on the same page of economic development. In a way, PM has scripted a new chapter in communication by being accessible to almost all strata of society via his Twitter handle, video conferencing and AIR’s “Mann Ki Baat”. Delightfully, it has not been a one sided communication. He has invited and received tremendous feedback from the remotest pockets of the country directly and indirectly. Wherever necessary / desirable, midcourse corrective measures too have been taken. Bureaucracy has been kept on toes by frequent interactive deliberations with senior functionaries, monitoring of decision making and implementation of Action Plans.

 

All said and done, quite a few negative vibes are also staring large on country’s face. Every patriot and nationalist will be deeply pained to see how terribly the country’s secular fabric is being systematically torn apart by some antisocial elements. Today, we stand fiercely polarised along communal, regional and political divide. The level of interfaith tolerance has dipped to the lowest ebb. Those who preach and practice inter-community hate are the worst enemies of the nation. Their pernicious thinking and actions are surely not doing any good to the country which was globally reputed for its unblemished secular past over the centuries. It is India which has taught and practiced multi faith, multicultural and multilingual peaceful coexistence to the world. Reducing it to a country of monolithic faith is not only ridiculous and shameful but also fraught with dangerous consequences. It should be the first and foremost preoccupation and commitment of  our leadership to ensure safety and security of the life and property of all segments of the society especially the minorities. Disgusting and inhuman developments like lynching, cow vigilante, vandalization of religious places, beating, killings and harassment of students and businessmen on the basis of their religion cause a big blot on the country’s image. Those who promote and indulge in such barbaric activities and unleash reign of terror should be brought to book immediately and   handed out severest punishment.

 

In international fora India’s position will continue to be assessed in terms of its relations with its immediate neighbours especially Pakistan and China. Once a very vibrant platform of South Asian countries - SAARC which was the brainchild of India has literally dismantled and become dysfunctional. The main contributory factor to its dent is deteriorating Indo-Pak  relations which are presently at its lowest. India is required to play a big brother. In order to live up to its big image and impressive credentials of political maturity, it would be appreciated if it takes the initiative to repair and improve its fractured relations with both. It doesn't behoove a great country to display detente and hardened postures all the time. Let it not fall in the vicious circle of nuclear and conventional Arms race. There are some international players who for their own vested interest don’t want to see them living happily together. All outstanding disputes have a solution if sincerity of purpose and firm will is displayed by all stakeholders. India is quite capable of achieving it provided it takes the first big step which will be, hopefully, reciprocated and rewarded amply. 

 

Any nationalist at the core will look at both sides of India’s current face. One side has dazzling shine and sheen while the other has some dark patches. It is not difficult to have a fully shining face if we take tangible steps to infuse life into the enchanting slogan “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas”.  This slogan should not remain a mere rhetoric. The country would like to have a “Prime Minister of India” in preference to “Prime Minister of Hindustan”.

 

The prevailing disillusionment and anger among Kashmiris is on the increase. Suppressing it by unleashing lethal force is no solution. Their unabated sufferings and killings may become volcanic. The need of the hour is to apply balm rather than bomb. The unprejudiced and sincere minds are craving for a meaningful dialogue with sincere political will and determination taking all stakeholders across the board. Enough bloodbath has been seen in past seven decades. The loss of life has been colossal among all warring camps. In the best interest of the country, it is high time to give peace a chance. Let it be the New National Narrative.

 

 

 

Siraj Quraishi (IBS) is Ex Deputy Director General Doordarshan

 

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